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I've created some hard links on my Windows 7 file system using mklink. It was some time ago and I can't remember for sure where, or which files. When I use Explorer, all files look the same. When I use the command line and type "dir", they all look the same.

How do I find hard links? Or how do I determine whether a specific file IS a hard link?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 16 down vote accepted

All files are hard links, with link counts of at least 1.

This is why the files look the same. They are the same. What you seem to be looking for are files where there are more than one link to the file. There's very little that distinguishes a file with a link count greater than one from a file with a link count of one … except the link count (and some odd behaviour with respect to attributes and date stamps).

And that is dead easy to check with the find command that is in Microsoft's SFUA utility toolkit, that runs in the Subsystem for Unix-based Applications:

find . -links +1

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just as a note, cygwin /bin/find also works. Thanks! –  arcyqwerty Sep 18 '12 at 2:25
Just to be clear the "Microsoft find" being referenced in the solution here is not the default installed Windows 7. You have to download and install a new Microsoft find. Then you can use that find utility. Or install Cygwin's find command like @arcyqwerty (which will probably have better support long term). –  Trevor Boyd Smith Aug 13 '13 at 14:40

Unfortunately, there is no way for the OS to find all your hardlinks without looking at each file.

For Explorer, you can download the very handy Link Shell Extension, which overlays files with hardlinks with a red shortcut-like arrow.

It also makes it rather effortless to create hardlinks, symlinks and junctions through Explorer's context menu.

Bonus chatter:

Technically, all files are hardlinks. Thus, you are really looking for files with more than one hardlink.

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use finddupe:

finddupe -listlink c:\photos
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